Search engine optimization is a fascinating tool, perhaps one of the most important tools. It all forms an important cycle, one which a brand cannot afford to miss out on because it is integral to its success. This goes back to an earlier post of mine called “Social Media: The Spread of Ideologies.” It is so important to strike a chord with the mavens and connectors of this world. To review, mavens are those who accumulate knowledge and connectors are those who know a lot of people. In the social and online realm, connectors are those influential people whose ideas are retweeted, linked to and commented on frequently. When that happens enough, a topic just may have a chance at making a notable list, this year’s being Mashable’s “How the World Googled in 2010″ http://on.mash.to/htVqna. For example, on this year’s list things that gained traction or emerged as front-runners were Chatroulette, iPad, Justin Bieber, Twitter, Facebook, iPhone 4, Nokia 5530, HTC EVO 4G, Nokia N900, Haiti, Turkish sports club Besiktas, Chile “earthquake,” Lady Gaga and Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Things that fell by the wayside: swine flu, Stephanie Meyer’s novel (and accompanying movie with the same title) Twilight, New Moon, Susan Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire, “Myspace layouts,” and Michael Jackson. Interesting what trends emerge when you give people a superfluous amount of communication channels to choose from each day (Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, blogs, forums, the list goes on) and monitor the outcome.
Lauren Dungan confirms that these channels do affect SEO, specifically Facebook and Twitter, in her Social Times article “Facebook and Twitter Affect SEO, Confirmed by Google and Bing” http://bit.ly/gk5bHF. Both search engines have specific social media search results pages which, although separate from regular search results, are becoming integrated with traditional search results. Additionally, Google uses ‘Author Authority’ and Bing ‘Social Authority’ to determine page rankings. These calculations are measurements of how influential an author is, for example, on Twitter. Essentially the more your links are shared and your updates are retweeted, the higher your page ranking. The higher your page ranking is the more success you have, and the more success you have the more you can know about your audience. Laurie Sullivan’s “Search Data, Baby, and Where to Find It” http://bit.ly/hw2gsX discusses how the ‘persona’ of the person using your search keyword can be determined through using a combination of Google Trends overlayed with census data. Thus the larger your sample pool is the more complete your audience analysis is, it is as simple as that. The more you know about your audience the better, because you can more accurately personalize your messages and target them. When you think about it these are topics that people tend to discuss separately, and yet they are extremely interrelated and build upon one another in a continuous cycle. The keys to success are at your fingertips…in this case literally.